Continued from previous post:
But Jesus said that famine, earthquakes and the escalation of war was not yet the end, it was only the beginning of the birth pangs. Birth pangs? What does a woman in labor have to do with anything?
Labor can be long and painful; just ask any mother and she will tell you that the beginning of labor pains is only the start of the birthing process. Jesus used this familiar analogy to make the point that famines, earthquakes, and the escalation of war in the end time were only the first signs; this is only the start of the painful end to the world.
We have looked at only one quote from the Bible describing what will happen as the world begins to enter the closing chapters of its long saga. Here is another.
“… until the end of time; many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase.”
When you think of someone going ‘back and forth’, you imagine someone going to one place, then to another, then back to the first place, then back to the other. Or perhaps you think of two people having a conversation about something where one person speaks, then the other, then the first speaks again, and then the other.
But why is this ‘back and forth’ significant to the end of time? People have always traveled and communicated so what is different at the end of time as compared to the rest of history? Speed! We do not have to walk or ride a horse to get from here to there; we can now drive or fly and get to our destination quickly. And we are not limited to writing a letter or traveling long distances to speak face to face, we can use the telephone or email and communicate instantly.
The last part of the verse we are looking at talks about knowledge increasing. Well, the fact is that the past century has seen more advances in science and technology than all the advances made in the previous two thousand years. Here is something Robert Brown, a dean at the University of North Carolina, said: “It’s estimated that medical knowledge, for example, doubles every seven years, and scientific knowledge doubles every twenty years. The total written knowledge in the world is said to have doubled between 1450 and 1750, and then to have doubled again between 1750 and 1900. Between 1900 and 1950, human knowledge doubled once more, and then again from 1950 to 1975. Now, it is believed to double every 900 days. By the year 2020, global knowledge is predicted to double every 72 days!” (7)
Since the beginning of the Iron Age, knowledge grew slowly and
there was little change in speed of travel and communication…In the past 100 years knowledge, and the speed of travel and communication, has exploded…
Here is another verse.
“This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.” Matt. 24: 14
What this verse is saying is that once the entire world has heard the gospel of Jesus Christ, we need to perk up and pay attention because the end of the world is right around the corner. So, how close are we to getting the word out to everyone on this planet? About 17 years ago The Almanac of the Christian World said there were Christians and churches in every country of the world: 4 billion of the 6.5 billion people in the world had heard the gospel, and 50 million Bibles and 80 million New Testaments were being distributed every year. (8)
In 1995 it was estimated that at least parts of the Bible had been translated into 2,092 different languages, and that the Bible or parts of it are available to roughly 98% of the world’s population. (9) I would say we are getting close to seeing that verse fulfilled.